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Origin, Meaning, And History Of Charles

The name Charles is famous for baby boys, particularly in the French and English-inhabited areas. It derives from the King Cearl of Mercia, known for his exploits during the Norman conquest of England. The given name means a free man or one who is free. The name Charles is also known as Karel in  Dutch, coming from the noun Kerel which means a young man.

Charles Martel was one of the famous earliest bearers of the name. He was a prince renowned for being an able military strategist and a leader of Francia. He was nicknamed the hammer and could assert his claim on the throne. He scored memorable victories against the Umayyad Caliphate at the Battle of Tours. He is also a pioneering figure in the growth and development of the Frankish model of feudalism.

Another notable historical personality bearing the name was Charles the Great, also known popularly as Charlemagne. Karolus or Carolus from Vita Karoli Magni is the Latinized form of the term. He was the grandson of Charles Martel and the King of the Franks, Lombards, and the Roman Emperor. He played an essential role in the rise of the Carolingian Empire, which played an important role in the first phase of the Holy Roman Empire.

Charlie, Chuckie, Chuck, Chas, and Charley are the diminutives, and Caroline, Charlene, Charli, Charline, Carol, Carole, and Charlotte are its female variants. Some popular name for Charles in other languages and culture includes Karl (Swedish/Icelandic/Germanic/Old Norse/Estonian/Danish), Karlo (Croatian/Slovene/Georgian), Carlos, Carlito, Carlitos( Spain), Carlinhos (Portuguese) and Carles (Catalan).

In fiction, Charles ‘Charlie’ Brown is a character from the comic strip Peanuts. He is one of the iconic American cartoon characters known for his portrayal as an insecure optimistic person with his trademark patterned shirt. Charles Boyle is a character from the comedy TV series Brooklyn Nine-Nine played by Joe Lo Truglio as a nervous, honest, hard-working police officer.


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Variant of Karl; brave
Old German
 c..  ca..  car..  Car..  Cha.. 

How To Pronounce Charles?


Famous People With The Name Charles

  • Charles Dickens English writer and critic known for his famous works like Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations
  • Charles M. SchulzAmerican cartoonist best known for creating the comic strip Peanuts
  • Charles BarkleyFormer American NBA star and sports analyst on TNT and the winner of the 1993 NBA Most Valuable Player
  • Charles Babbage English polymath, scientist and inventor known as the father of the computer
  • Charles DarwinEnglish naturalist, geologist and biologist known for his contribution towards the field of evolutionary biology

Charles On The Popularity Chart

Charles has been a vintage name for baby boys for centuries. Let us study the data provided by the Social Security Administration to see how the title holds up as of today.

Popularity Over Time

The name peaked in popularity in 1980 when 14,967 babies per million shared the title. After that, it declined slowly to reach 5,952 babies per million in 2021.

Source: Social Security Administration

Rank Over Time

The name enjoyed its highest ranking during the early 1980s. However, as of 2021, it lies at 17,594. Check out the graph for more.

Source: Social Security Administration

Names With Similar Sound As Charles

Charles has many similar-sounding names that are also popular. Here are some options you may explore.

Names With Similar Meaning As Charles

As the name meant free men, it has many other monikers in different forms and variants. Check out some of the suggestions mentioned.

Name Numerology For Charles

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